[ The PC Guide | The PC
Buyer's Guide | Step-By-Step Summary Guide To Buying A PC ]
Step 4: Make The Purchase
Having determined your requirements, decided what hardware you want to buy, and
selected a vendor to your liking, you are now ready to proceed with actually making the purchase of your equipment. There are a few extra
considerations and additional choices related to making the purchase that you will want to
keep in mind.
Here are the steps to follow:
- Time Your Purchase: You can wait forever to buy if
you always want to wait until "next month when prices will be lower". At the
same time, there are good strategies for timing your purchase if you aren't in a big
- Choose A Delivery Method: If you are ordering online or
by mail order, decide what carrier you want to use. Keep
in mind the value of order tracking, security issues with shipping, and also the impact of weather on long shipments.
- Select A Payment Method: There are a number of
different methods that you can choose from to pay for your new system or components. I
have divided these into two general categories:
- Immediate payment options, which I define to include cash, money orders, personal checks, COD
purchases, online payments, and credit card purchases where you will be paying the charge
when it comes due.
- Delayed payment options, which may allow you to get your
PC now and pay for it later or over time, but which may cost you substantially for the
privilege. This category includes deferred payment,
purchase orders, financing
and leasing, and carrying a balance on a credit card.
- Purchase: You're now ready to buy your PC! If you
are ordering a build-to-order or configure-to-order PC, be
sure to get a detailed quote. If ordering online or mail order, get complete confirmation of order, stock, price and ship
date information. Watch out for "extras"
that companies will try to sell you at the time of the purchase.
If you've done your vendor research, and you have a bit of luck, you should have a
relatively problem-free experience with your order. However, sometimes you may choose a
vendor that turns out not to be what it appeared, and even good vendors have bad days and
problems that turn up. To deal with these difficulties--in fact, even to help you learn
what to watch for--you may want to refer to these three sections:
- A discussion of common vendor and order problems, such as
"bait and switch", overcharging, orders not
shipped on time, credit card pre-charging, slow refunds, lost or
late shipments, incorrect item shipments, long backorders, balking
on guarantees or warranties, or inappropriate
- General suggestions for dealing with difficult vendor and
order problems: the value of documentation, standing up for your rights, knowing how to deal effectively with the vendor, how to use a company's hierarchy, how to reach a resolution, how to deal with avoidance, and when to cancel an order.
- If it becomes necessary, how to deal with vendor abuses and
deceptive practices. This includes how to dispute
a credit card charge, try feedback at a high-level
within the company, involve consumer protection
agencies or the media, or take legal action if you have no other recourse.
Here are some general tips to help with the purchase:
5: After The Purchase
Home - Search
- Topics - Up